Support the Café
Search our site

New Covenants

New Covenants

Friday, May 25, 2012 — Week of 7 Easter, Year Two

Bede, the Venerable, Priest, and Monk of Jarrow, 735

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 965)

Psalms 102 (morning) // 107:1-32 (evening)

Jeremiah 31:27-34

Ephesians 5:1-20

Matthew 9:9-17

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

In the Ten Commandments and again in the covenant begun in Exodus 34, we hear ominous words of judgment passed down from generation to generation. God speaks as one who will visit the iniquity of the parents upon the children to the third and fourth generation.

During a time of national threat and chastisement, Jeremiah’s generation feels the weight of that curse. In the early years of Jeremiah’s vocation, the good King Josiah had inspired a revival of faithfulness and observance of the Law. But Josiah died suddenly in battle, and political and religious hopes unraveled quickly. The people became disillusioned and helpless. Much of Jeremiah’s testament gives words to their misery and suffering.

But now, Jeremiah speaks words of hope. He says to them, You’ve seen the tragedy — “I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil.” Now God is planning good — “so I will watch over them to build and to plant.”

Throw off the helpless feeling of doom, the destiny to live out the curse of your ancestors’ wrongdoing. The rules have changed. No longer will you speak the old folk maxim “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But now, each will be responsible for your own actions and not inherit the curse from your parents.

Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant. The law will no longer be a set of external words of instruction, but an internal presence in your hearts. You will know God intuitively, immediately. You will no longer reference the external teachings, but God will live in your heart.

That religion of the heart is what we aspire to. At the feast of Pentecost, Christians say that God’s Spirit, God’s own life is in us at the center of our being. We are made one with God in the Spirit. We call that our new covenant. It releases us from the curse of the past through forgiveness and regeneration. It guides us into a new future through the indwelling of the Spirit.

Today, let us walk in the Spirit. Let the intuitive presence of God guide and lead us. It is our inheritance. It is our blessing. God is with us. Jeremiah’s hope has come true in the gift of the Spirit through Jesus: “For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more.”

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ann Fontaine

31:22 How long will you waver,

O faithless daughter?

For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encompasses a man.

Funny how this is never in our readings- the prediction that when women take leadership it is a sign of the reign of God.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café